Kingfisher, the European home improvement giant, revealed today (15 April) significant changes in its leadership structure.

After seven years at the helm, the company announced that chair Andrew ‘Andy’ Cosslett has opted not to seek re-election and will vacate his position at the conclusion of Kingfisher’s annual general meeting (AGM) on 20 June this year.

In his place, Claudia Arney, an independent non-executive director since November 2018, will assume the role.

Kingfisher operates in eight countries across Europe under various retail banners, including B&Q, Castorama, Brico Dépôt, Screwfix, TradePoint, and Koçtaş.

Catherine Bradley CBE, senior independent director, expressed gratitude for Cosslett’s contributions, acknowledging his leadership during pivotal moments for the company.

“On behalf of the board, I would like to thank Andy for his outstanding leadership and extensive contributions. He has overseen an important period of change for the company, including the launch of the ‘Powered by Kingfisher’ strategy, laying the foundation for the company’s future success.

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“After careful consideration and a thorough process, the board is confident that Claudia is an excellent choice. During her time as a non-executive director, Claudia has demonstrated that she has a breadth of knowledge and experience which, together with her leadership and judgement, will be crucial as we drive our strategy forwards.”

Arney, in accepting the appointment, commended Kingfisher’s customer-centric approach and its commitment to long-term stakeholder value.

“Kingfisher is a fantastic business, which maintains a sharp focus on striving to better serve its customers while delivering long-term value for all its stakeholders. I look forward to continuing to support our great management team in our mission of making home improvement accessible to everyone.”

Additionally, upon assuming the chair role, Arney will relinquish her position as chair of the Remuneration Committee, succeeded by Rakhi Goss-Custard, effective after the 2024 AGM.

The company said Goss-Custard, a seasoned non-executive director since February 2016, brings substantial knowledge of Kingfisher’s operations, ensuring smooth continuity.

The board said it is actively engaged in identifying a long-term successor for the Remuneration Committee chair role.

These changes come at a pivotal time for Kingfisher, which recently signalled a profit decline for the current financial year following a challenging period, particularly in the French market.